Mixing action and comedy has always been a tricky business, and Hard Powder (aka Cold Pursuit), Liam Neeson’s latest foray into the crowded Daddy Revenge subgenre, is a tonally inconsistent misfire with a huge body count, cringeworthy attempts at humour, and the least menacing villain since Craig Bierko in The Long Kiss Goodnight. When his son is murdered, Rocky Mountain snow plower Nels Coxman (Neeson) embarks on a quest for retribution that ignites a bloody turf war between a Native American gang and a Denver businessman. After a sombre opening conceived to get Mrs Coxman (Laura Dern) out of the picture, the film immediately descends into balls-to-the-wall Grindhouse territory, complete with exposition-heavy subplots, and a poorly choreographed, tension-free climax. Ultimately, the film is destined to be remembered primarily for its catastrophic recent press junket, during which Neeson alarmingly confessed to having once roamed the streets looking for a “black bastard” to kill.
Hard Power | Directed by Hans Peter Moland (US 2019) with Liam Neeson, Laura Dern. Starts February 28.
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